A View From The Top

Welcome back peeps. Hope your black-thanks-cyber-giving-Friday-To-Monday went well. Hope you didn’t get trampled by the masses and had a great Turkey feast with friends and family.

Who Me? Oh, my weekend was splendid, thank you very much. Nothing like some down time to rejuvenate, recuperate and as it happens, speculate.

A little tidbit on the web, reminded me of a fine young lady I meant to address for oh, so long. And what’s better on the tail end of another shopping spree than to talk about the Gwyneth Paltrow?

I’m sure we can find what’s better, but it doesn’t tie nearly as neatly to some recent themes on this very blog as young Gwyneth does. So Gwyneth it is. And yes, I do so enjoy repeating that name in various accents. Try it. Gwyneth.

So, what was it this time, Gwyneth? Oh, yeah. Gift ideas.

See, Gwyneth, and her wonderful team over at goop (I swear, that’s what they call it) thought up some really cool gift ideas for the holidays.

The good people at abc7 (Link at the bottom of post) did us the service of reviewing these awesome gift ideas. and they are marvelous, I say, just marvelous!

A Cashmere cape, a bar cart, some nifty currency cases (must be Gwyneth for a wallet. Just saying. Looks just like a wallet to me. But then again, I’m not Gwyneth). Fabulous ideas Gwyneth! I’m sure the people on the receiving end of this transaction would be absolutely thrilled. And the givers – Ah, what’s better than the gift of giving? Right?

Now, before you run and bring Goop’s servers down with your traffic, just a quick note.

  • That cashmere cape? 3,190 US$
  • The bar cart? 1,495 US$
  • And those lovely currency cases? 285 US$

Ok. Now you can go and raid those fabulous deals over at goop.

That is, of course, if you truly believe that a currency case (Hehe, I can’t get enough of this) that looks like something you’d see in one of those mid isle stands in a mall anywhere, justifies an expense of 285$. You got to ask yourself – what exactly will I have left to keep in said currency case?

Now, a cashmere cape looks very nice and those “throw blankets”… ooh, comfy. They might come in handy when you can’t afford to keep the air conditioner on because you paid over 3 grands on stupid throw blankets.

But I just wasted near 400 words. Why?

Because Gwyneth still lives over in wonderland. Where people can actually afford these ridiculous prices. Where the economy is blooming and no one is struggling to make ends meet. Where a piece of cloth for 3,190 US$ is not an outrage. Where a pair of pants costs 795 US$ even if it looks like sweat pants you can get at Costco (Great sweats by the way).

But this is the world we live in. A world ruled by the one god. Money. And his enthusiastic followers. Us. The consumers.

And really, why am I surprised by Gwyneth? Why does goop disgust me so much? Why am I even annoyed by her elitist and hypocritical endeavor?

After all, was it not our dearest, Gwyneth, who spewed that crap about single-momhood and the woes of a working actress? Why, yes it was.

My 2 cents (cause I don’t have much more to offer in monetary terms, not after that currency case) – Elitists like our dear Gwyneth should not be encouraged. In my humble opinion, it’s nearly the most disgusting facet of consumerism. Dangling the “shiny” and “sparkly” things that her milieu can easily afford in front of the struggling masses. But of course that’s what the economy of debt is there for. Excuse me, while I stop here before I get sick.

/End Rant

ABC7 reviews these fabulous gift ideas

An open letter to Gwyneth

The American Dream V2.0


Why the high drama?

Because we’re here to talk about shiny, flashy, glittery matters. We’re here to talk about the evolution of the American dream. We’re here to talk about the new way of living. About consumerism and narcissism. About capitalism and other isms.
The “pilgrims” who came to America to start a new way of life would’ve never imagined just how similar their “New England” would be to the old one. On the other hand, it is nothing like the motherland.
The distance between the first settlements and today’s vast cities, the likes of New York, LA and Chicago is huge. Add the richer suburbs to the mix and you might want to start celebrating the glory of the American Dream! Oh, the land of endless opportunities. Every Tom, Dick and Harry can make it in the states!
Well, we know that is bull shit. Not only riches are reserved for the rich, this gap between the very rich and the very poor seems to only grow with time.
The descendants of the people who severed their ties with the Monarchy, have surrendered to oligarchy.
Within this blinding oblivion, the people are sucked in, deeper into the newest of religions. Consumerism. New-er, mind you. It wasn’t born today, but in the large scheme, it’s a religion in infancy. Sure, its roots go far and deep back into the darkness of history, but it’s celebrated and practiced in all its glory in our fine times.
I won’t dive too deep. You know it. You live it. To an extent, I live it, whether I want to or not.
So why the high drama?
Just, since I observed an evolutionary (not Revolutionary, just Evolutionary) development in the area I live in.
The modern American model living is a small, clean, if possible – green little suburb. You got your piece of grass with a house on. A mall, some strip malls, restaurants and other “facilities” to make sure you don’t die of boredom. Parks, a pond or two, and other shiny things. Ah, the American Dream. It can’t get any better, can it?

Sure it can.

Because the Avalon “Mixed development” (That’s how they call it) is the American Dream V2.0.
So you live in your little suburb and after a while, you’re a little sick of driving all of 10 minutes to the mall. You’re exhausted just thinking about travelling 15 minutes to try a new fusion restaurant. And how about driving the same 10 minutes to the cinema? Please… I’d rather die.

But hold on! There’s Avalon!

Avalon is a place, where for a measly 800K $ to 1.5 Million $ you could purchase your  home right inside this shiny, glittery shopping center! It’s a steal ladies and gentlemen! And why the hell wouldn’t you pay every penny you ever saved and will save for the chance to live in a place where you can spend the rest?
Ah, capitalism in all its might and glory! The rich will take your money and in return, they will give you the golden opportunity to pay them more of it for the shiny stuff they’ll ever so altruistically peddle right outside your door! What about that trickle down effect? We’re glad you asked! We’ll be happy to pay your kids minimum wages to bust their asses selling as much of our shit as possible to you and yours.
See? It works!
God bless America!
Join our cult today! buy more stuff!
Of course, feel free to speak your mind right here!

You get a 100!

Woo Hoo! This makes it a hundred “Hellos” and “Welcomes” to my humble virtuabode 🙂

Huzzah! It's the 100th post!

I know that there’s nothing really special about the 100th post other than to yours truly, yet, I am quite amazed I got here and still going. So kudos moi!

So, to celebrate this festive event what I decided to do is…. drum roll…. unveil the Gil Shalev Wall Of Fame project! Trumpets!

10 walls with 10 first inductees by category. That makes it a 100 inductions. all worthy of a 100% appreciation.

I’m starting with a 100 and every 100 posts will add a 100 more, so no need to ask “Where is___?”.

These lists are not ordered, these are not a “top 10” lists. Ok?

Click the photos to go to the relevant wall of fame!

Cool, right?















TV Series






It took some thinking, and some crafting so that explains the delay. I wanted this to be special 🙂

Would love to hear what you think.

Tell the real story

Welcome back!

So this week I was busy with work and life and when I had some time I was preoccupied with (forgive me) politics… There were some political developments I didn’t like so against my own advice, I had to go and argue with anonymous people on Facebook… But that gave me a little inspiration for today’s post (I wish it was for my novel though… although the message that I’ll try to pass is relevant.) Continue reading

Support your fellow writers!

No, this isn’t going to be a manifesto or some lecture. Just a shout out to Karen McGoldrick, who just published her first novel “The Dressage Chronicles“.

I went to the book launch and showed my support. Here’s a photographic evidence to my claim (Courtesy of my son Nir):

From Left to right: Gil Shalev, Karen McGoldrick, My daughter Mica and a dog 🙂

Anyway, good luck to Karen and everyone who just published their debut!

(Temporarily) Out with the old and In with the new

I feel like a character in a book. To be more specific, I feel like a hero on his journey!

How come? well, I look at the past few months and before, and I notice that my own story has some key elements from the “Hero’s journey“. Continue reading